Italy: Divorce on the Docket

At 5:40 one gray morning in Rome last week, Italy's Chamber of Deputies ended a tumultuous 19-hour session by approving legislation permitting civil divorce for the first time in more than 150 years. At 5:44 a.m., the first of a tide of telephone calls from impatient clients roused slumbering Milan Lawyer Giovanni Bovio. The quick response, grumbled Bovio, must be something of "a speed record."

Even before President Giuseppe Sa-ragat signed the long-awaited divorce bill into law a few hours later, it was clear that Attorney Bovio and his legal colleagues would...

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